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I know applying for jobs is time consuming and exhausting, so before you put time and effort into applying for this job, here are some things that might help clarify if it’d be a good fit for you!
You don’t need “innovation” experience. Being organized, excited to try new ideas, self driven and passionate about helping journalism are important to me — experience in innovation is not.
You will not be doing journalism but you will be doing work that supports journalism. This can be a challenging mindset shift for journalists. My favorite part of this job is that we get to say YES! to journalists and newsrooms who need our help. We get to build, create, help change journalism for the better — in big ways and small.
This particular position will mostly consist of finding, creating and leading industry partnership projects and initiatives! This means work like our Chalkbeat partnership or NABJ platform partnership. You will also have the opportunity to build training, workshops and other resources that you feel address a need in the industry.
I am not a micromanager, which is not something that works for everyone no matter how much everyone says they love to hear that! If you don’t have enough work to do — you’ll be expected to take the initiative to come up with ideas for new projects. You will have *a lot* of freedom to pursue projects you’re passionate about, that much freedom is not ideal for everyone!
You aren’t someone who is distracted by every new shiny thing and inaccessible fancy tech. You want to work on practical innovation and systemic, institutionalized issues to help make journalism better for our journalists and our communities. You want to do projects that help small, local, underrepresented and independent newsrooms and journalists because you know the workload, budgets and resources they usually have access to.
You like to listen and collaborate. We spend a lot of time in conversations with possible news partners to get their dreams/goals/ideas to a place where RJI can support them and we can achieve something useful together.
You want to keep learning, lead discussions and workshops, attend conferences and build upon your relationships in the industry.
You want some real work-life balance. I will encourage you to take your time off (for real! No email, no slack) and I will tell you to go home if you’re in the office after 5. I will lead by example, rarely being in the office after 5 and not being on email on days off. I want you to have time to have a life outside of the office so you’re excited and refreshed when you’re at work! You’ll get 17 days off a year + personal days, a week off at christmas and will be paid for your days at conferences and workshops.
The salary range is $60k-70k
Now you may be wondering, can this job be remote? Nope! 100% Nope! Sorry. This job is here in Columbia. You *will* have to move here to be hired. You’ll be teaching a class at the Missouri School of Journalism and our classes are based on the Mizzou method — learning by doing. So you’ll be out in the field with students, showing them how to use gear, editing programs and whatever is within your skillset.
So as someone who has lived all over the country, here are a few things about living here and how it compares to elsewhere:
It’s a red state but our city is very much a college town and is pretty 50/50 as far as liberal/conservative.
We have lots of great places to eat, listen to live music, breweries and plenty happening on weekends but also… way less traffic than a huge city.
We are a big outdoors/trail city, with 81 miles of trails just in Columbia so if you like to walk, hike and explore — it’ll be a good place for you.
Your commute from home to the office will probably be under 10 min, depending on if you live ‘in the city’ or not. You might even be walking distance if you live downtown.
It’s a pretty low cost of living — so you will probably be able to buy a house here if that is something you’d like. I am happy to help you house hunt, now that I live somewhere where it’s possible — it’s quite fun.
And most importantly — Columbia is 74% white, so I know that means that professionals of color who work and live here will face challenges, barriers and discrimination that I, as a white person, do not. I will do my best to support you, advocate for you and help you find community and avenues of support here should you decide to come here and work for me. I am happy to refer you to other people of color (who have no investment in you being hired) who can share with you their personal experiences from living here.
The Reynolds Journalism Institute tests and demonstrates new technologies, experiments with new approaches to producing, designing and delivering news, information and advertising, and hosts conferences and workshops for the journalism industry. RJI’s work crosses diverse specialties within journalism, including media convergence, editorial content and methods, the evolution of advertising, innovation in management and the impact of new technologies.
Contact: Kat Duncan, Director of Innovation Duncank@rjionline.org
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